The next time you tot up your annual turnover, triple it and add a few thousand extra for luck. Youll be in good company, thats how the BA, in cahoots with the CTC, estimated the number of visitors at the York Rally/National Cycling Festival 2000

BA finds phantom cyclists

A press release from John Carrington Beard of the BA claims that the BA is disappointed there were only 20 000 visitors. The BA SHOULD be disappointed but where have the extra 12 000 cyclists come from?

It appears lessons are not being learnt. The CTC and the BA were guilty of over-estimating how many people would come to the York Rally bolt-on 50 000 but instead of admitting mistakes were made before, during and after the show, and instigating a far reaching inquiry into what went wrong with the organisation and promotion, both organisations are being bullish over the official estimate of show visitors.

Gate receipts were no more than 7700. Add a couple of thousand for fraudulent re-entering on other peoples tickets and you still dont hit 10 000 visitors.

The CTC has long claimed that it gets anything between 25 000 and 40 000 people to York Rally. This figure is now seriously in doubt. Are daily visitor totals tripled to get to this expanded figure (even though most people stay for the full three days so shouldn’t be counted three times)?

Some BA PR committee members still havent been told the actual number of tickets sold for the Festival and have so far swallowed John Carrington Beards assertion that other cycle exhibitions play the rounding massively upwards game.

Not us mate, says Future. Their show totals are genuine gate receipts. Future sells no multi-day tickets and doesnt count exhibitors, complimentary visitors or members of the press. So, the 35 000 Future got at Bike 2000 is just that, 35 000 visitors, says Future.

Why wont the BA bite the bullet and give gate receipts too? How much money has the organisation lost? BA members will no doubt be very interested to hear the facts but will they be revealed to all and sundry before the AGM much later in the year?

As John Carrington Beard is in charge of the National Cycle Trade Show 2001 (3-5th June, Harrogate) its important that the BA starts owning up to the true visitor total rather than trying to sugar the pill with grossly overstated figures that, surely, would fool nobody who was actually there on the ground.

Booking a new show is done on trust so JCB needs to quickly come clean about the actual totals.

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